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 Moscow court starts trial over Ukrainian literature library Director Sharina

Today, the Meshchansky court of Moscow starts hearing the criminal case against Director of the Ukrainian literature library (ULL) in Moscow Natalia Sharina charged with extremism and embezzlement.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Radio Svoboda, the library and its director's apartment were searched in October 2015. The book by Dmytro Korchynskyi "War in the crowd" which is recognized as extremist in Russia was found by the investigators during the raids. A total of 25 books with alleged signs of extremism are mentioned in the charges brought against Sharina.

Sharina was detained Oct. 28, 2015 and placed under house arrest Oct. 30, 2015. Her house arrest was repeatedly extended. However, the court mitigated the pretrial restriction against Sharina in late October 2016 by allowing her to go out for a walk.

Read more: Ukrainian literature library in Moscow being searched for newspapers with "corrupted historical facts"

The Ukrainian literature library in Moscow appeared on the law enforcers' radars well ahead of that. It was twice raided in 2010. The Interior Ministry said then that the reading matter with elements of extremism was allegedly distributed among the library visitors. The law enforcers claimed that Ukrainian nationalist organization UNA-UNSO could have been involved in distribution of books. The criminal proceedings against Sharina were initiated in 2011. The case against her was dismissed and reopened several times.

Read more: Russian regime copies Hitler in everything from violation of foreign territory to demolition of Ukrainian books, - NSDC Secretary Turchynov

Sharina's lawyer Ivan Pavlov says that the criminal case against her has nothing to do with the ULL's reorganization, closure, or dissolution.

"This is the article 282 (of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation - Ed.) that covers actions aimed at inciting hatred and enmity: this is the count one of her indictment. Two other counts relate to embezzlement. The public prosecutor will have to explain at an open court hearing - I hope it will not be in camera - what exactly Natalia Sharina is accused of.

See more: "Sharina supports Ukraine. I am a professional reader and can identify Russophobia" - face-to-face questioning protocol. DOCUMENT

"It is the public prosecutor's responsibility to deliver charges. The prosecutor must explain in comprehensible terms what exactly Sharina is charged with. We have been requesting the investigating and the prosecuting authorities for over a year to take into account the fact that the extremism-related charges are extremely unspecific," Pavlov said.

Read more: Employee of Ukrainian literature library in Moscow Muntian went missing after search in her apartment
 
 
 
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